New theory. My excess of nerves comes from not knowing what I am doing out there. Walk-trot-canter? Check. Waltz around with my hands up in the air, sitting too far back in the saddle? Not so much.
The parts of riding that I know, I can execute well enough to do unconsciously. Therefore, those parts are easy to dismiss. For the parts I am learning, I must concentrate to get correct. This feels awkward. Feeling awkward makes me feel incompetent. Feeling incompetent makes me feel stupid.
This is not specific to my decision to wander off into Saddlebredville. Let’s say I was well-established at Training level eventing. (A dog can dream.) I decide to move up to Preliminary. The Training elements would be easy. The new movements and speeds required for Prelim would make me feel awkward, incompetent, and stupid.
This not specific to riding. Part of being a freelance writer is marketing. I was reasonably good at this, particularly within the equine market. If the editors did not know me, they knew the magazines on my resume. With non-equine editors, I had to convince them de novo. Being reduced to the new kid on the block made me feel awkward, incompetent, and stupid.
It’s not just that a new skill is difficult. That is self-evident. It’s the mix of old and new. I need to recognize that layering a new skill over an old one will feel weird. It’s part of the process.
Will any of this cogitating help with my preshow desire to give up riding and take up Tiddly Winks? I’ll find out today.
Horse Show Today: NeGCHA 2014